|Type||Public (NYSE: DTE)|
|Headquarters||2000 Second Ave.|
Detroit, MI 48226
|Key people||Anthony F. Earley Jr., CEO|
|Industry||Electric Producer, Distributor, & Utility|
Natural Gas Producer, Distributor, & Utility
|Products||Electricity, Natural Gas|
|Revenue||$8.51 billion (2007)|
|Net income||▲ $971 million (2007)|
Michigan Consolidated Gas
Citizens Gas Fuel
DTE Coal Services
DTE Rail Services
Midwest Energy Resources
DTE Gas Storage
MichCon Storage & Transportation Services
MichCon Major Account Services
DTE Gas Resources
DTE Energy Services
DTE Pet Coke
DTE Biomass Energy
DTE Methane Resources
DTE Energy Trading
DTE Energy Co. is a Detroit, Michigan-based utility, incorporated in 1995, involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide.
DTE Energy's largest operating subsidiaries are Detroit Edison, an investor-owned electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan, and Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. (MichCon), a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan.
In May 2007, Forbes listed DTE Energy CEO Anthony F. Earley Jr. as receiving $4.84 million in total compensation for the latest fiscal year, with a four-year total compensation of $18.31 million. He ranked 19th on the list of CEOs in the Utilities industry, and 290th among all CEOs in the United States.
Out of its total 13,041 MW of electric generating capacity in 2005 (1.22% of the U.S. total), DTE Energy produces 61.3% from coal, 16.4% from natural gas, 11.7% from oil, 9.3% from nuclear, and 0.2% from biomass. DTE owns power plants in Alabama, California, Illinois, and Michigan; 95.5% of the company's generating capacity comes from power plants in Michigan.
In October 2010, DTE Energy filed a request with the Michigan Public Service Commission for a $253-million rate hike that would cost an average electric customer about $5 more a month. According to company officials, the hike is needed to "comply with EPA environmental improvements to reduce polluting emissions from coal-fired plants, make up for a decline in demand for electricity from commercial and industrial users, and cover rising costs of health care for the utility's employees." The request came on the same day that DTE Energy announced third-quarter earnings of $163 million or 96 cents per share, representing an increase over the third quarter of 2009, when the utility earned $151 million or 92 cents per share.
Existing coal-fired power plants
|Plant Name||State||County||Year(s) Built||Capacity||2007 CO2 Emissions||2006 SO2 Emissions|
|Monroe||MI||Monroe||1971, 1973, 1974||3280 MW||15,900,000 tons||103,570 tons|
|St. Clair||MI||St. Clair||1953, 1954, 1961, 1969||1547 MW||7,769,000 tons||42,374 tons|
|Belle River||MI||St. Clair||1984, 1985||1395 MW||9,885,000 tons||24,128 tons|
|Trenton Channel||MI||Wayne||1949, 1950, 1968||776 MW||4,759,000 tons||29,066 tons|
|River Rouge||MI||Wayne||1957, 1958||651 MW||3,433,000 tons||13,307 tons|
|Marysville||MI||St. Clair||1943, 1947||150 MW||1,306,000 tons||504 tons|
|Harbor Beach||MI||Huron||1968||121 MW||256,000 tons||945 tons|
In 2006, DTE's 7 major coal-fired power plants emitted 43.3 million tons of CO2 (0.7% of all U.S. CO2 emissions) and 214,000 tons of SO2 (1.4% of all U.S. SO2 emissions).
According to the non-profit Clean Air Task Force, DTE’s Monroe coal plant is responsible for more adverse health impacts than any other plant in the country — 278 deaths, 206 hospital admissions and 445 heart attacks. According to a 2009 report by Environment America, "America's Biggest Polluters," the Monroe Power Plant is the seventh largest carbon dioxide emitting plant in the nation, releasing 20.6 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2007. In January 2009, Sue Sturgis of the Institute of Southern Studies compiled a list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States in terms of coal combustion waste (CCW) stored in surface impoundments like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill. Monroe Power Plant ranked number 5 on the list, with 4,110,859 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.
In 2009, Monroe Power Plant began operating two flue gas desulfurization systems. DTE said two more scrubbers and a fourth SCR would be installed at the plant. On August 5, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sued DTE Energy, alleging DTE made major modifications in March 2010 to Unit 2 at its Monroe Power Plant without first obtaining necessary approvals. The $30 million overhaul was made without installing, as required under the New Source Review requirements of the Clean Air Act, the best available technology to minimize emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides -- pollutants that harm human health by contributing to heart attacks, breathing problems, and other health problems, the suit alleges. The EPA is asking a federal judge to shut down the unit and halt further modifications until DTE complies with the Clean Air Act. It also asks for civil penalties of up to $37,500 per day.
On December 22, 2010, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment air quality division said it approved a permit that allows DTE to burn more coal and also petroleum coke at the Monroe plant. As part of the newly approved permit, DTE will install wet flue gas desulphurization and selective catalytic reduction systems — on the two of its four units that don’t have them. DTE spokesman John Austerberry said the company will have the pollution controls installed by late 2014.
Shannon Fisk, an attorney for the National Resources Defense, which has joined EPA in the federal lawsuit against DTE over violating the New Source Review provisions when it upgraded its Unit 2, pointed out the MDNRE issued DTE’s permit just 8 days after the end of the public comment period regarding greenhouse gas emissions. If the permit remained under consideration until January, EPA’s new greenhouse gas permitting policy would have required an analysis of best available controls for reducing CO2 emissions, he said. This would have required DTE to look at the possibility of using natural gas for power or finding ways to improve energy efficiency.
Biomass plants and conversion projects
[DTE Energy]] is acquiring stakes from Mt. Poso Cogeneration Plant owners Red Hawk Energy and Northern Star Generation to convert the plant to burn 100% biomass - agricultural and residential green waste from nearby areas. The third partner in the Mt Poso plant, MacPherson Oil, intends to continue its ownership and management interest in the facility. As a biomass facility, Mt. Poso would produce about 44MW of power, DTE said, enough electricity to supply about 35,000 homes. Power is to be sold to California utility PG&E under a long-term power purchase agreement.
DTE has completed a similar biomass conversion, the Stoneman Generating Station, in Cassville, Wisconsin, and has another under way in Stockton, California. It also operates biomass power plants in Woodland, California. and Mobile, Alabama. The biomass conversion is expected to be complete in 2012.
Congressional campaign contributions
DTE Energy is one of the largest contributors to candidates for Congress. These contributions total $317,499 to the 110th US Congress (as of the third quarter), the largest of which has been to Rep. Carl Levin (D-MI) for $21,500. Congressman Levin, for his part, has been a strong supporter of the coal industry on energy bills. 
Contributions like this from from fossil fuel companies to members of Congress are often seen as a political barrier to pursuing clean energy.
More information on coal industry contributions to Congress can be found at FollowtheCoalMoney.org, a project sponsored by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Oil Change USA and Appalachian Voices.
Credit Reporting Program
In August 2006, DTE began reporting payment information to the major credit bureaus on all of its 2.5 million customers, without offering the ability to opt-out, making it one of the few utilities in the U.S. to do so. Previously, only seriously delinquent accounts had been reported.
Groups such as the NAACP protested this change, arguing that such a policy would benefit those who have no problems paying their bills, but would hurt those who are the most vulnerable economically and most likely to miss a payment, such as the poor, elderly, and disabled. This, in effect, would hurt their credit rating, and further hamper their ability to advance in society.
In January 2007, DTE changed the policy to state that only payments 60 days or more overdue would be reported to credit bureaus.
NAACP Clearing the Air Road Tour
- The River Rouge Power Plant located in the River Rouge Community of Southwest Detroit, Michigan, is surrounded by low income communities, primarily comprised of people of color, specifically African American and Latino. The plant is a mere two blocks from the start of one neighborhood and there is a park where people bring their families barbecue, and catch fish, a mere 500 feet from the smokestacks. Ms. Yvonne White, President of the Michigan State Conference of NAACP speaks about the power plant and the surrounding area.
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- DTE Energy Co., BusinessWeek Company Insight Center, accessed July 2008.
- CEO Compensation: #290 Anthony F Earley Jr, Forbes.com, May 3, 2007.
- Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
- Kathleen Gray, "DTE Energy asks for $253M rate increase" Detroit Free Press freep.com, Oct. 30, 2010.
- Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
- Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.
- Eartha Jane Meizer, "DTE Energy gets coal plant permit on eve of new regulations" The Michigan Messenger, Dec. 23, 2010.
- "America's Biggest Polluters: Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Power Plants in 2007" Environment America, November 24, 2009
- Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
- "Scrubbers reducing emissions at coal-fired plant," Power Engineering, November 16, 2009.
- Paul Egan, "EPA sues DTE Energy over coal-fired plant expansion" The Detroit News, August 5, 2010.
- The Conversion, Mt. Poso Cogeneration Company website, accessed April 2009.
- James Cartledge, "DTE to convert California coal plant to biomass fuel" BrighterEnergy.org, Nov. 9, 2010.
- Jacqui Patterson, "Day III Clearing the Air Road Tour — River Rouge, MI — River Rouge Power Plant," NAACP Climate Justice Initiative, April 21, 2010.
- "DTE submits application for new nuclear plant," Associated Press, September 18, 2008.